Wednesday, July 18, 2012

Amalgam #0 - Dan Bennett, Dave Berry, Stuart Chalmers, Sam Muscat and Liam McConaghy

The Cube Bristol - 14th July

After the quality of the last Amalgam outpouring, I was chewing at the bit when I heard a follow up was happening. On arrival, the free cdr of the last show's action was a beautiful gesture, the sort of thing that should happen more often, especially considering the tiny costs involved…

Apart from Stuart on tape and devices, a fresh line up was the order of the night. Dan Bennett of Skjolbrot fame on laptop spanners and whirly things, Dave Berry zoozing the clarinet and saxo fruits and Sam Muscat, seconded from the Lund Quartet on reverbed drums … The billed H of ZamZam replaced by Liam McConaghy on synthy spaceage.





Sam and Liam started the proceedings… The drums seemingly sucked up into those keyboard modulations, or tall walking the nebulous streams... little claws of keys pawing at head locked rhythms. This was an awesome start for sure, really knitting together, evolving, a listening game payoff of the highest order... diverting into bassy directions... the synthesized fodder and drums blurring some blissful harmonics and starlit topographies... great fun ... chased along by Dan and Dave's set…





Dan sported a nice Swans t-shirt.. the face of which, looking like it was forcing back a sneeze in the glowing half light... He supplied plenty of strange shapes, computerised spiders that seemingly slipped round in glass slippers, Dave's clarinet infections being eroded on a nano itch... later counter attacking in a vaselined valve flurry to a chew of binary concretes... getting all jigjazzed, the spontaneous freefall bracketed in tasty snips of earwig processing…





A sepia tinted Germanic projection from the twenties (Der Heilige Berg) accompanied the rest of the night's musical combinations... Starred a waiflike Leni Riefenstahl well before she was drawn through the Nazi mincer... As she danced within clashing waves, random glitches in the movie were seemingly puppeteered by the slip of the music... That horizon of silhouetted body spazzing along with the rewind/fwd magnetic loopage of Mr. Chalmers ... The saxophonics yelping away in sprawled agitation... evaporating on a dragonhead of interactive currents... a nice bleed of mellow perspectives becoming a brood of sonic breakdowns to the gooey eyed on screen love interest, then the computerised chisels were chipping at those monochromed jaw lines... a brew of futurist slants whipped up in a locked groovathon of driven reparation to the unfolding ski action...





Everybody was on stage for the grand finale, interacting or subtracting themselves at various stages throughout the hoedown. The music cataloguing the doomed ascent up the north side of the mountain in an avalanching swoon of keys, percussion and ice pick scrapes... Cheeping brass getting all Jimmy Savilled , then squealing with a beautiful atonality... Those snow capped drums a haemorrhage of multiple exposures, the synth lines fastening together the soft contentions... your attention sucked in alternating streams of music and celluloid... The music hitting dancey torrents full of sonic crinkles and comic cut-up dialogue, right until the synth man was the only one left playing...



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